TC basketball teams open conference play

The Tabor basketball team’s opened their KCAC schedules against archrival Bethel College in Newton on Thursday night. The women’s team clobbered the Threshers 70-51, but their male counterparts stumbled out of the gate and lost 69-60.

Bethel’s men held the Bluejays to 10-of-30 shooting in the first half, but a determined effort in the paint from Mike Stoeker and Greg Munroe kept the Blue within striking distance. Stoeker finished with 15 points and Munroe had 13, but the team connected on just 3-of-20 three point shots. Bethel, by contrast, drilled 7-of-11 from beyond the arc — 4-for-4 in the second half — as part of a 47 percent (26-56) performance from the floor.

Despite their early struggles, TC was behind by only a single point with 2:16 to go in the first half. Bethel’s Kent Peters hit two free throws and a three-pointer in the final 42 seconds, and Ricky Snyder’s buzzer-beating half-court toss gave the Threshers an 8 point lead heading into the intermission and the Bluejays never closed within four points of overtaking them in the second half.

In the early game, the women started fast and never looked back. A 14-point halftime lead turned into a 19-point margin of victory. For the game, the team hit 43 percent of its shots (27-63) and went 6-of-13 from three-point range. Donya Anderson had 8 rebounds and Kirsten Watson led the team with 16 points.

Tabor was back in Hillsboro on Saturday night, and the women were still firing on all cylinders with an 86-53 win over the McPherson Bulldogs. The Bluejays led by 25 at intermission.

The men’s team’s meeting with the Bulldogs was a slightly different story. Stoeker sat out the final minutes of the first half and much of the second half with foul trouble, and McPherson scored repeatedly in the paint whenever Stoeker went out. But with Stoeker crashing the boards at both ends of the floor–the forward finished with 9 rebounds–TC held on for the win.

Munroe finished with 9 rebounds and 20 points against McPherson, and two other Bluejays scored 20-plus points. Mike Willis had 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists, and Tyler Weinbrenner scored 21 points to go with 5 assists.

Eric Weinbrenner started for the Bluejays, who are still without senior Andy Brubacher after the guard went out with an injury in a non-conference game against Bacone last week.

The win keeps the TC men near the top spot in the conference, as no KCAC team has more than one victory to its credit so far. Sterling and Tabor are the only women’s teams with two conference wins in 2006-07.

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